Friday, July 27, 2012

Madelyn's Fair Project

Last year when we moved to our new town we heard our family, friends and neighbors getting ready for the Kane County Fair. Having never participated in a fair before I had no idea what that entailed.
Oh boy....
This year we decided to jump in with both feet!
Each of the kids have been "raising" their very own pig, Hunter will also be submitting his rooster's and each of our kids will submit a project. Each project will be judged and given a ribbon, some projects judged will earn a small cash prize!
Of course each of my kids are hoping that their project will be one of the ones given the small cash prize. For months now we have been searching for something "different". Something that we didn't see at the fair last year or other fairs we've been to. We want something that will catch the eyes of the judge to hopefully earn that cash prize. At the same time it needs to be something the kids can do completely by themselves or with very minimal amount of help from mom and dad. I want their projects to be there's not ours!

After much debating Madelyn chose to make a recycled Kool-Aid bag with a coin purse. Several weeks ago we bought a few boxes of Kool-Aid and the kids have slowly been drinking them and saving the bags for this project.

Earlier this week Madelyn rinsed all the bags and got them clean for us to start her project. This afternoon we pulled out the sewing machine, had a quick reminder of sewing machine safety, and began. Not being able to pin the bags together because it would show the holes I taped the bags to help keep them straight for her to sew on.

I sat right next to her as she sewed each bag together, one by one. 
She was so happy to see it coming together.  She's a bit of a perfectionist as she was getting mad at herself when her stiches weren't straight. I kept reminding her that practice makes perfect!
After a few hours we were finally done!
 Ta da....
 The finished project!
I made a mistake. I should have had her sew the handles on to the bag before sewing both sides of the bag together but.... I forgot! After a bit of struggling I ended up sewing the handles to the bag but other than that she pretty much made this by herself! I'm proud of her. I've let her help me sew a bit here and there and Grandma did a sewing project with her last year and now this year at Grandma's Cousin Camp but that's been it. This was definetly her 1st real sewing project that she's had with mom just sitting by her side! Good job, Madlelyn!

We've got about 3 weeks now before the fair. It's great to know we've got one project down, now just 3 more to go.

Emily's new cast...

Eight weeks ago today Miss Emily broke her leg riding her bike. It's made for an interesting summer. We had plans, we had lists of things we wanted to do as a family and a broken leg was most definetly not one of them. It's been hard! I know it could have been worse so I shouldn't complain too much but this broken leg deal hasn't been easy.

Emily's cast went up to her thigh keeping her knee bent and her foot pointed down. She would complain and end up in tears because she couldn't straighten her leg out or bend her foot. When I take a moment to think about not being able to straighten my leg or bend my foot I feel a bit of anxiety and to know she couldn't do these things for about 6 weeks makes it worse. We all felt sorry for her but there was nothing we could do.   

One of the worse things about this cast was that it couldn't get wet! This made bath time extremely difficult. In the end I wrapped a hand towel around her thigh and then tied a garbage bag around it trying to keep the cast dry. It worked for the most part. Our master bath has a little ledge on the side that came in handy for her to be able to rest her leg on to keep it out of the water. I only filled the bathtub up a few inches and then used our removeable shower hose to get the rest of her wet and rinsed. It worked!

 This hot pink cast of her's was also non-bearing which meant she wasn't to put any pressure on her foot, no walking! Having a newborn, a 3 year old and a dad that hasn't been around a lot this summer has made it even harder. EVERYWHERE we went Emily had to be in a stroller or be carried. Usually I had Hunter or Madelyn pushing her and than I'd push our other stroller that had the baby and Brayden. Worse case scenario I carried Emily, one of the big kids carried the baby and the other held Brayden's hand. It's when I didn't have the bigger kids help that life got really interesting. Needless to say I haven't venture to far from home by myself this summer. This has really slowed my life down a bit but suprisingly it hasn't slowed Emily down to terribly.    

 This girl sits on her bum and scoots herself or she crawls on her hands and drags her body behind her wherever she wants to go. She's got callouses on top of her toes. She's all over the place. I feel like I have a crawling toddler again that's always under foot. Like a crawling toddler this pretty little girl has been stepped on and tripped over to many times to count. But the point is she can still get around on her own if needed.  

Then about 2 weeks ago she had another doctor's appt. Her leg was x-rayed and it was decided that her leg was healing the way it was suppose to. YIPPEE! She got a new cast. This one doesn't cover her knee, allowing it to bend, it is weight bearing and water proof! Wow!!!!! What a difference. This girl can now bathe by herself and walk. Well I guess it's more of a hobble as her heel is still casted but she no longer needs to be pushed around in a stroller or carried. She can "walk" through the sprinkler's, play with water balloons and not be worried about getting wet. It's made my life a bit easier with this new cast. Just a few more day's to go and then hopefully she can finish out the last 2 weeks of summer before school starts cast free. I can hardly wait!


About a week ago my mom started her "Grandma's Cousin Camp" this summer. This year the girls got to go first.
With the girls gone the house was a bit quieter, the house stayed a bit cleaner and I didn't miss the extra laundry I other wise would have had.
I missed them though!
I missed hearing Emily's clump, clump, clump down the stairs as her leg cast hits each step on the stairs. I missed Madelyn's cheerful voice in the mornings asking what's for breakfast?
I missed Madelyn's eager help to change Kylie's diapers by herself and to get her dressed each morning and night! I missed Emily's volunteering to pray at each meal. I missed Emily asking if she could try to hold Kylie and sing her to sleep. I missed hearing them sing in there room together at the top of their lungs to Taylor Swift songs. I even missed the hustle and bustle each sunday morning brings trying to get everyone's hair done.
What can I say, I just missed them for the week that they were gone.

Both girls LOVE being in the kitchen with me. It is not uncommon to have both of them especially at dinner time helping get everything ready for the table. They help chop vegetables and fruit, they're great at frying up hamburger or sausage. They know how to get the water boiling and then adding the noodles. Their great at helping make homemade rolls. About the only thing I don't let them do or help with is when I'm working with HOT oil. I'm just not comfortable with that yet.

Having the girls gone for a few days gave Brayden a chance to jump in with both feet. At every meal time he was asking if he could help make "dinner" which he calls every meal. At the beginning of the week I was very cautious with what I allowed him to do, he is only 3!  By the end of the week this mom started to loosen the apron strings and give him more space. One paticular night I was chopping up celery and he asked to help. He grabbed a BUTER knife and started chopping beside me. I soon had enough and walked my bowl of celery to the other side of the island. When I came back around this little man had grabbed the kitchen knife I had been using and finished the last stick of celery.   

 He knew the knife was sharp and kept telling me he had to be careful so he didn't get any blood.
 I love the two hands and such hard concentration!
 He was quite thrilled when he was done! He kept telling me he was so big like Maddie.
One morning for breakfast he helped by flipping the pancakes. Having the girls gone gave us a great opportunity to do things we normally don't do together. I learned that he really LOVES to help his mom in the kitchen. We made cookies together, bread, cinnamon rolls, lasagna, chicken enchilada's and granola bars just to name a few. He was quite helpful, made a bit bigger mess than the girls would have but it was fun to spend some one on one time with him. Where was Hunter during all this? He volunteered to be on baby duty! I think he too learned a lot with out the girls here always willing to jump in to help Miss Kylie when he can't figure it out. He did good with her. He even got comfortable enough with her to take her on a short walk by himself! He's a great big brother to his younger siblings.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Our 4th of July

I had forgotten all about Alton's 4th of July annual tradition. Each year the day starts off about 6 o'clock whether you like it or not. How does it start off every year about the same time you may ask???
With this!  

  This dang fire truck turns it's sirens on and drives up and down each street several times. Being our town consists of about 8 streets, 4 running N & S and the other 4 running E & W it seems like the truck is always close to your house.  This year I'll admit the fire truck sent me into a panic. At the time the Shingle Fire was a very live threat. We had many, many people in our ward and surrounding areas that had been evacuated. People here in Alton had opened there homes to families that had no where else to go. We were told that the fire was about a mile away from highway 89. If the fire were to jump the highway we would have been evacuated as the fire would have only been about 4 miles away with not much more than dead grass and brush between it and us! We had had an emergency town meeting a few nights prior to the 4th and one of the points brought up was how to notify the town quickly and effecently that we were to evacuate. Especially if there were no phone services and our cel tower out by the highway had burned down or shut off! Sending a police car around with it's sirens was something that was mentioned.

My first thought waking up to the sirens was why on earth was the fire truck in town? Why wasn't it still on the mountain fighting the fire? My second thought was Oh my gosh! We are being evacuated now! I jumped up and out of bed so quickly. I went running out of my bedroom with the intent to find my family and get us out of town! As I came running into the kitchen I hear Emily coming down the stairs asking Kory what the noise was for? Before he can reply she than says, "Daddy does this mean our house is going to burn down and we get to move?" Kory's immediate reply was "No, it's just the fire truck waking everyone up becuase today is July 4th". Emily "Why do they want everyone to wake up?" Kory, "Because there are some CRAZY people here that like to get up early and run 5 miles into town to start off there day today".

Oh yeah! I had forgotten that today was July 4th and this was just tradition.
My panic eventually subsided but with the sudden adrenaline rush, and the fire truck waking EVERYONE up including baby there was no way I was going to be able to go back to sleep.

After a few hours the parade eventually started. Our Scouts led the parade, Hunter included (wearing the yellow hankerchief around his neck). 
 We had clowns this year,
 families on horseback,
 and Art with his train pulling his family members.
 The parade was short this year that after watching it go by in front of our house we walked up the street and watched it a second time.
 Here's my pretty girls. 

Later in the day we headed over to the park for some games. This picture isn't very good but the kids kept moving to fast for my slow camera. Someone had stacked about 8- 5 gallon buckets on top of each other. Some piles had 3 bucketts other's had 2. Then a group of kids circle all the bucketts and hold hands. They than try to pull someone to close to the bucketts that they either knock em' over or let go of the persons hand next to them. If either happens they're out of the game and have to sit out. The last one standing is the winner. These older kids + the teenagers played this over and over and over! It was quite the hit.

 There were relay games, Art's train and water games to play too. Kory's boss decided that he'd rather have a 3 day weekend. So Kory had to work the 4th but got that friday off. Being I was by myself at the park with 5 kids and too many other people around for comfort my camera wasn't used as much as I would have liked. With Emily being  in her non-walking cast I had to push her around in one stroller and then used another stroller for Brayden and Kylie. Sometimes I had help from the bigger kids but for most of the time they were off playing leaving me to push the 2 stroller's with 3 kids inside. Not fun for me!

After work, Kory was able to join us for dinner at the park. After dinner I went home and crashed! I was so tired. It was a very long day for me but my kids had fun. Even Emily being stuck in the stroller for a lot of the day said she had a good time too. I'm glad they all had fun!

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Shingle Fire.

Like many other's living in the west, we too have a wilderness fire a little too close to home for comfort. Our fire called the Shingle Fire started sunday afternoon about 3:38pm. It was caused by a faulty
ATV park arrestor. As of late sunday night the fire had burned 500 acres. This morning the fire has reached 5400 acres (1 acre is about the size of 1 football field). An estimated 550 residents have been evacuated. Many of our ward member's living on the mountain have been evacuated. It's awesome to see so many families living here in Alton offer there homes to other's in need. Our Town Hall right across the street has also been opened to families who need a place to stay.

This picture was taken near the Swain's Creek turn off.
 This picture was taken yesterday at Todd's. About 3 miles north of the fire.
 This picture was taken at the Mammoth Cave turn off on HWY 14 facing in our direction. Obviously the HWY has been shut down AGAIN for us locals.  
 I took this picture last night standing in the road beside my house. The air reeks of smoke. This morning our vehicles are covered in ash.  We are being told that the fire remains at 0% containment. There are 3 helicopters and 2 heavy air tankers fighting our fire. There are 19 engines, 2 hand crews and 3 bull dozers. Yesterday afternoon due to strong winds there were 200+ firefighters removed from the area due to extreme conditions. This fire seems to be out of control and moving very quickly.
 Sunday night Kory and I went to an emergency evacuation meeting. Our town has been put on alert that we may have to evacuate (pretty slim chances unless the fire jumps the highway). Yesterday when the nearest subdivision was evacuated they were given 2 hours to leave voluntarily and 4 hours to leave mandatory. Yesterday morning I decided to pull out our 72 hour kits and just go through them. I remember when we moved to Utah 2 years ago going through them but haven't since. What I don't remember is basicly empying them 2 years ago and NOT replacing them with anything. All of the food was missing from the packs. Hunter's pack had 5T clothing (he's 9 now), Madelyn 4T (she's 8 now), and Emily 18months clothing (she's 5 now). My pack had diapers and a sleeper for a future baby Brayden. WOW!  Needless to say I spent the afternoon repacking and making a few new 72 hour packs.
 I had all the kids try them on to make sure they weren't too heavy.
This morning they are now all on top of our coat closet shelf right if front of the front door. We are ready! There's a few things I'd like to add to them but that will have to wait until I get to the store next week. 
Whats up setting about this fire, man made or not is that the majority of this fire should have/could have been preventable. The Federal Government and Extreme Enviromentalists are to blame. A well managed forest would't burn like this. Locals and many other's have been fighting for years to be able to log the land or allow cattle to graze the area but have been told no due to an endangered beetle. The moutain once beautiful in my opinion is no longer. I remember the way the mountain looked 10+ years ago when Kory and I were dating. We traveled HWY 14 weekly. 2 years ago when we moved home I was shocked to see the mountain.  To me it looked nothing how I remembered it. To me the mountain has a "trashy" look to it. Too many dead trees and dry overgrown grass lands. In many areas there are more dead trees still standing than live trees. It's no wonder this fire is still out of control! It's just sad that so many people have been evacuated, so many homes are in danger. So many lives are at stake trying to get control of this fire. I laughed when I saw this post on facebook. "I hope they were able to evacuate all of the precious beetles. Hate to see the Eco-system disturbed by having them all die!" or how about this person's opinion, "It's infuriating! There should be a class action law suit.. Citizens of Kane County v. U.S. Federal Government!! They are risking real lives and livelihoods just to protect a beetle? Its just not right." 

There is a consequence to every action. I wonder how much money has been wasted by the Government trying to protect this endangered beetle that lives inside dead trees, that are killing more trees everyday? How much money could have been made by logging companies and ranchers by being able to use the land. How many jobs would this have created in a struggling economy ? Let's not forget the Government would have made money off all this too.  Now how much money is going to be spent because of this fire? How much land will be destroyed for years before it repairs itself? How many people are going to loose there homes, there livelihoods? How many people are suffereing from the inconvience of leaving there homes? All becuase of a beetle! It's not just Cedar Mountain either. There are so many wild fires right now in the West. How many of these fires could have been prevented if the forest had been well managed? There is a place for all of us but I sure wish these Extreme Enviromentalists could look at the whole picture and everything that will and can be effected  by there choices and decision's.  

One month old...

Kylie turned one month old last week. It's AMAZING how quickly time goes by.
At Kylie's 2 week check up 2 weeks ago she weighed 7 lbs 1 oz.  5 oz. shy of her birth weight, 7'6. She reminds me of Emily a lot, tiny and petite. She's a great baby! She's doing great with all the extra love her big sister's and brother's give her. I learned real quick that if I keep her awake from 8-10pm, nurse her good, put her to bed on her belly she will sleep about 5 hours straight. Heck, that's almost a full night's sleep. She's slowly changing and I'm not liking it. I want her to stay a new born just a while longer.

Kylie's staying awake more and more each day. I love her big blue eye's although I'm sure they'll turn to brown like all of her older siblings did. She will grasp your finger and hold on tight in her tiny little hand. She's starting to smile when talked to. Kory tickles her belly and she grunts. One day she's going to suprise us with a giggle when being tickled by daddy. She's able to hold her head up more and more each day. Her little neck muscles are getting stronger. My favorite thing about Kylie at the moment is her snuggling, she loves it. I love the feel of her tiny body resting on my shoulder. The way her head nestles into my neck. I love her baby smell.  I love the little grunts and groans and the little noises she makes. I've finally put away most of her NB outfits especially the ones with enclosed feet attached and have replaced them with 0-3 months. Most of these new clothes are still too big on her and so she's still useing some NB summer clothes and a handful of 0-3 clothes. I love the new born stage. it's one of my favorites. I'm thankful she's staying so tiny for me. I love you Kylie.

A Day To Remember.

This past sunday, July 1, was a special day for two of our girls.
Madelyn was baptized and Kylie was blessed.

I wanted a picture of the two of them in their white dresses and this was the best I got.
 Kylie was NOT happy about getting her picture taken.
 Here's dad and Madelyn practicing how to bend her legs for the big event.
 Madelyn was baptized in a dress that my mom made for me to be baptized in when I was 8. Both of my sister's were baptized in this dress and than Madelyn's cousin, Carlaya, was also baptized earlier this year using the same dress.  
 During the baptism program after Madelyn was baptised and confirmed Kylie was then blessed.
 This is GG & GGpa with Kylie.
 Here's a picture with 3 generations. Now looking back we should have grabbed my mom to take a picture of 4 generation's.
It was a great day filled with lots of family and friends.

Cook Out

       Having family come up this past weekend we decided to do something a bit different saturday evening with who was here. We took everyone to Silver Maples for a cook out and to do a little shooting. With all the fires going on in the West we had some strict fire restrictions. Instead of doing a true dutch oven cook out we cooked using the dutchovens and a frying pan but placed them on our camp chef instead.

 Elena with mommy, Christina.
 Elena holding Kylie's bink in.
 Daddy, Jason, talking to Jamie. I love his dirty little nose!
 Dinner is finally served.
 The daddy's made sure each of the kids had ear plugs. Here's Kory helping Hunter.
 Uncle Travis with Elena.
 Kylie was quite fussy and I had a hard time taking pictures, I didn't get as many as I would have liked. I didn't even get a chance to shoot! 
 Uncle Jason brought up a homemade target stand they used. I took this picture at the beginning. By the end this guy was quite covered in bullett holes.
Despite the fussy baby it was fun to get away from the house even for just a few hours. It's always fun to eat outdoors and enjoy the warm weather we are having especially with extra company.

Who turned 8?

Our Madeyn turned the big "8" last monday.

Keeping with tradition she requested pancakes.

 With Daddy on the day shift now (not complaining) she had to wait ALL day long before opening her gifts and having her "family" celebration.
 Madelyn loves to draw.
 Madelyn loves to read.
 But most of all Madelyn loves to take pictures!

 For dessert she opted out of having cake and asking instead for warm brownies with ice cream. She's going to save her cake for her birthday party coming up in a few weeks.
Happy Birthday Madelyn, we love you and are so glad you are a part of our family!